Berger V Lowen- A write off

The Nice thing about Gary Lowen, he is so lazy, he writes his column at 7am and posts it on the Sun website. Therefore I never have to read him in print anymore. I have seen it the day before. Why wait for the news of the day…. I really thought he was the author of the worst or dumbest column I had seen in a long long time. The nice thing about Howard Berger is that despite his ability to use 10-15 point words, his grasp on reality is so far from this planet that his written works continue to get worse with each passing blog. Last I spoke of Happy Howie I referred to his blog to be like Seinfeld, the show about nothing…his blog was about absolutely nothing. Howie has out done himself again, steeping to lower levels then even I imagined. Howie has written himself into the same class as Mr. Lowen. It appears to be a write off- who is worse at his trade?

I didn’t make any of this up folks, Berger actually put his name to this crap:

“It’s a concept that has become part of the vernacular among those who purport to worship the Toronto Maple Leafs, yet it has no defined meaning and it appears to exist only in the imagination. “Tanking” is a term supposedly affixed to a professional sports team that has no chance of contending for a meaningful position. Said team must therefore willfully abandon all accepted principles and nose-dive to the depths of the league in which it plays in order to secure the highest possible draft slot. At least, I think that’s what “tanking” means to the majority of people who believe in such a notion.”

With all due respect Mr. Berger, you seem to be a bright guy. I mean you use words like vernacular. Not only do you use them, but you do so in the proper context. So either someone ghosts writes for you, or you are fairly educated. So how do you expect those of us who read your column to believe that you don’t know what “tanking means”. I mean if you look in the webster’s dictionary you will find ” intransitive verb 1 : to lose intentionally : give up in competition” ( The fact that this verb is in the freaking dictionary, recognized as slang, suggests that enough people use it to garner it some recognition. We Leaf fans can’t claim to have created it or own it. It has been used for years Howie. In fact, the person who has garnered the claim to it with regards to the Leafs is your former alleged informant, Bill Watters( who apparently coined the term tank nation.

“So, you honestly believe,” I countered, “that a group of professional athletes – players at the highest level of their sport – would make a collective decision to essentially throw hockey games for the long-term benefit of the franchise? To purposely embarrass themselves in front of thousands of live on-lookers, and hundreds of thousands watching on TV? Particularly given that such action would lead to the overwhelming majority of these players being removed from the team long before it begins to get better? I don’t understand it.”

Now, this is just plain stupid. It is one thing to hope the team loses. It’s another to suggest that the players are going to conspire to achieve the goal. I don’t know anyone that insane to believe, hope or think that to be the case. This really isn’t that complicated….

“And therein lays the fallacy of “tanking”. There is no such thing… at least, not in the way many people imagine it. The concept of bartering established players to enhance the restructuring of a sports team is a legitimate, widely-used strategy that often serves to weaken a club in the short term. It’s a plan of action that many expect Brian Burke will deploy as the National Hockey League trade deadline approaches. The potential expulsion of key players such as Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky will provide the Maple Leafs with much-needed assets to build upon. It may constitute relinquishing a season that held little promise to begin with, but it’s a valid, understandable method of moving forward in a league with a salary cap.”

Howard, who do you think is reading this crap??? fallacy, bartering, restructuring, expulsion???? Who are you trying to fool? We get it, you can write…. This is a sports blog…The real news folks work down the hall from you at 680!

“Under no circumstance does it imply that the 20 players who dress for Leaf games in the final month of the season will do anything but their best. Nor does it suggest that management and coaching will be at all appeased by a string of one-sided defeats. The vast majority of these people make it to the apex of their profession by thinking in the exact opposite manner. It is in their DNA to be competitive. The idea of intentionally laying down on the job is thoroughly ridiculous.”

Am I the only person who is lost reading this garbage? This really is the worst blog you have ever written. Do you actually believe that there are intelligent forms of life out there who think the players and coaches are trying to lose??????? That is what you are implying. That is just totally, moronic.

“And, don’t believe – for a moment – that any legitimate fan of the Maple Leafs goes to bed feeling happy after a game such as on Tuesday, when Nashville came to town and smothered the Blue & White 2-0. Or when Bryan McCabe and the astoundingly average Florida Panthers walked away with an easy 4-2 triumph a week earlier. I often listen to fan reaction on radio while driving home after covering a game at the Air Canada Centre. When the Leafs lose, the anger and frustration is palpable. It matters not that the club isn’t expected to win on many nights, or that it may ultimately benefit from a lower placing in the standings. The natural instinct of a supporter is to be disheartened after a loss, and pleased after a victory. Such emotions are unmistakable on the call-in shows.Those among the innumerable die-hards that suggest they happily watch as the Leafs tumble through the standings are full of baloney. It’s simply their way of masking disappointment.”

You have just proved how far removed you are from the Leaf fan. How dare you question the legitimacy of “fandom”. There is a difference between feeling happy, and realizing that sometimes the ends justify the means. For years we true leaf fans have been sold a bag of goods, by management, by coaches and folks like you who have predicted success where there was no real chance of any. We are smart enough to realize that the only way for this team to move forward is to take a step back. That doesn’t require being “happy”. We can be frustrated, angry and yet still understand that these are types of growing pains we have to endure…The only baloney I see is that which you veil as anger and resentment towards the team you used to be a season ticket holder of. Stick to what you are good at Sigmund (whatever that may be).

“And, that’s why the concept of “tanking” has no merit. It’s an illusion; a cop-out for those who either don’t understand – or cannot deal with – the reality of professional sport.”

Two words for you Howie, BLACK SOX…………

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